Artists and their spiritual conscience

The arts and entertainment sector in Zimbabwe has been considered to be sacred , as artist , musicians , instrumentalists and other players are considered spiritual beings as their work is a result of God given talents and their artistic journey gives them purpose in life. So many stories were shared were artists sees the light or makes a deal with the devil or God.


Recently a renowned Jiti crooner Baba Harare shared news about his convictions and quitting secular music to sing gospel a move which left many shocked and awed at the same time. Many artists claims to be called by the divine beings to fulfill their mission through art. Early in the 90’s when sungura music and kanindo were at peak many artists were alleged to be using black magic to make hits or people attends their shows, whilst in the modern day the trend have shifted as many artists flocks white garment sects for cleansing and divine protection and others visits sangoma in the night to remain relevant in the industry.

Words like Musikavanhu, Varikumatenga, Varikumhepo, mudzimu mukuru and Mwari are common subject in music and a point of connection for relatability.

Spiritual belief

Spirituality refers to the aspect of believing in a greater spiritual being greater than myself or the human beings. It is usually a feeling or subconsciously feedback of our shared experience and sensory of the divine nature. Spirituality as a whole comes in different shapes and sizes but they are three main types which is individualism, collectivism and spiritual dialogue.

Zimbabwe is a religious country and it is dominated by Christians, whilst African traditional religion and Islam has a fair portion of the population, many artists claims to be Christians be it Zimdancehall, Jiti, jazz, sungura or hip hop artists all they recognize the aspect of a greater being in their creative process and some claims to be used by the divine powers to convey message.

Spiritual Belief during the liberation struggle

Artists connection with the spiritual conscientiousness can be traced back to the liberation struggle, were music played a great role of uniting, boasting morale and keeping the confidence of freedom fighters whilst reminding them of their duties and ethical conducts.

Music was also used during divine ceremonies (Bira) to please the spirit mediums and cleanse the freedom fighters.

Songs like Nzira dzemasoja, clearly paints a picture of divine consciousness as freedom fighters have to upholds certain morale and code a conduct of  with a belief that the supreme being (Musikavanhu) will help them too conquer .

Most of these liberation struggle songs indicates the power of spirit mediums in collectivism spirituality and spiritual dialogue and music was the medium .

Hence artists had special position in ATR as they were considered to be sacred and clean vessels of the Gods .


Soon after independence we saw the raise of Mbira , chimurenga music and traditional music which connected with the divine powers .In this ear popular Mbira player like Stellar Chiweshe , Mbuya Madhuve , and Sekuru Gora were believed to be spirit mediums (masvikiro) and they music was reach and was all about concertizing about their history and purpose , praising the role played by spirit mediums and ancestors in the liberation struggle.

It is the same era we saw the emerging of sungura band outfits in the early 90s, these band outfit were religious conscious in some sort of way, as they preached unite, family integration and acknowledge greater powers in their messages.

In Zimbabwe they is a narrative of spiritual dialogue by every artists towards his deaths as many of the sungura legends, felts like they like they death was near and they will compose a song with death as the subject matter.

Tongai Moyo before his death he released a song Ishe wangu zvondouya yako , the song is a spiritual dialogue between him and the  deity , were he is asking God to spare his children from his sin as he is about to depart earth , the song is very emotional and Tongayi Moyo passed away soon after the song release .

Simon Chopper Chimbetu of the Dendera kings released two similar songs, Ndarangarira musi watisiya Gamba and Ndovavhunza muvhunzo varikumatenga, these two songs a spiritual dialogues between a deity and the artists have so many question around death and his relatives who have passed on, and the conversation goes on, till he asks God to received his relative because is a war hero.

They are song many songs with these inferences of God and spiritual beings.

2000s and Modern Era

The modern era , we have seen a dramatic shift of focus were artists are still religious focused but they now more indicating to the blessings , asking for guidance and showing off their material gains whilst giving credit to spiritual beings.

Holy ten Delilah song is a good example of acknowledgement with the line Ukamuka usaskipper prayer( do not skip prayer when you wake up) or Jeso kristo (Jesus christ)by Bagga a thoughtful prayer were one is calling upon Jesus to be in his life and the list of songs which concertizes people about supreme beings are so many .


Artists reflect the society in their creative processes , and since Zimbabwe is religious conscience many artists follows the trends in the artistic work , despite having guitarists lists like Mono Mukundu claiming to be atheist , the whole topic is sensitive and no one really questions religion at all .

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